UK: Royal Navy Receives Acknowledgement for Generous Actions

Royal Navy Receives Acknowledgement for Generous Actions

As well as providing more than 600 personnel to parade at Windsor and welcoming the Olympic flame at RNAS Culdrose, it has been a busy few days for the Royal Navy. Fishery Protection vessels HMS Mersey and Tyne were both called out over the weekend to deal with separate emergencies in the South West, while HMS York helped with the search for three fishermen missing with their boat, the Perbeck Isle.

The Portsmouth-based Type-42 destroyer had been on exercises off the coast of Portland when she was tasked with helping to find the crabber, who had been reported missing on Thursday evening (17 May), and her three crewmen.

As well as HMS York, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Wave Ruler and US Navy supply vessel 2nd Lt John P Bobo also joined in the search.

Yet the body of the skipper David McFarlane, 35, was found by rescue teams on Friday while a survey boat used its scanning equipment to pick up what is thought to be the wreckage of the crabber on the sea bed. The other two crewman are still missing.

A day later Portland coastguard again requested the help of the Royal Navy to help rescue another fishing boat which called for help on Saturday. The Gemma T was 20nm south of Portland Bill when she lost power due to a catastrophic mechanical failure.

Royal Navy Fishery Protection vessel HMS Tyne immediately responded to the distress call, sending her seaboat and several engineers to see if they could help fix the stricken vessel. Unfortunately they were unable to repair the problem and HMS Tyne took the two fishermen on board while their boat was towed in.

Lieutenant James Thompson of HMS Tyne said it had been taking part in routine fishery protection duties when they heard the emergency call. He said:

“It was nice to help with the other side of fishery protection.”

Navigating Officer Lt Ollie Loughran added:

“The guys were drifting close to a busy shipping lane and anytime we hear the emergency call we like to aid where possible.”

A spokesman for Portland Coastguard added:

“HMS Tyne and her crew went far beyond any reasonable request for assistance in this incident and Portland Coastguard wish to acknowledge the generous actions of the Royal Navy.”

Sister ship HMS Mersey also joined in the action by responding to a mayday call from Brixham coastguard on Sunday afternoon. A diver had been reported missing in the River Dart from about 9am that morning and Mersey and the Torbay Lifeboat launched a search and rescue effort. Proving fruitless, the patrol vessel was called off the search after three hours with no sign of the missing man.

As well as continuing with its operational duties, the Service is gaining momentum for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday June 3. See Royal Navy practises key role in Diamond Jubilee Pageant.


Naval Today Staff , May 23, 2012; Image: Royal Navy